There are several tools behind the setting of national logistics policies. Improving last-mile logistics with city logistics strategies is an often neglected element of a national logistics policy. Many final deliveries are taking place in congested contexts with difficulties accessing the final destination, including parking. The most common strategies involve:
- Rationalization of deliveries. Change the conditions in which urban deliveries are taking place, such as the time of day (to avoid peak hours and even during the night) and access to on-street parking. This improves the use of existing transport assets in highly congested areas. Building routes and delivery schedules so that there is a better match of pickups and deliveries. However, rationalizing urban deliveries comes with additional delivery costs and delays.
- Urban freight facilities. Facilities adapted to urban freight distribution and where consolidation, sorting and deconsolidation activities are performed in high density urban areas, close to the points of final delivery. In addition of improving the efficiency (time and energy consumption) of urban deliveries the supports as well the development of ecommerce that leans of home deliveries. This strategy also comes with additional delivery costs and delays.
- Modal adaptation. The use vehicles more suited for urban deliveries, such as smaller vans and even cargo bicycles. The higher the density, the smaller the load unity, but the greater the frequency. This can also involve the conversion to alternative sources of energy such as compressed natural gas or electric vehicles to reduces congestion, pollution and energy consumption as well as reducing disruptions (such as noise) on local communities. This strategy also involves additional delivery costs and delays.